WWDC 2013: iOS 7 What’s New & What We Think!

This years WWDC (ya know, the highly anticipated Apple “press release” also known as the Worldwide Developers Conference) was really about one thing: The new iOS 7 for Apple’s mobile lineup. In a nutshell Cook revealed Apple’s iTunes Radio Streaming service, MacBook Air Upgrades, a new MacPro and a completely overhauled iOS 7 software update. This latest version of iOS is the first visual redesign since the original iPhone was released in 2007 and it’s impressive!

With so many new changes (both visually and functionally) I’d like to keep this post focused on reviewing these changes. We will dive further into the new Mac and MacBook Air upgrades in another write-up.

Ready?
Powering up the new iOS gives us a new lock screen, gone is the rounded rectangle with an internal slider. The simple font with the minimalist appeal is eye pleasing to say the least. You can instantly see how the “flat look” rumors ring true. Some will say this looks very “Android” but when you actually compare them side by side there are many differences. Upon sliding (if you have a pass code set) you will see the new pass code input screen. Our photo below shows the new rounded keypad “like” interface with simple text for emergency calls or to exit.

iOS 7.0 Lockscreen & PassCode Screen
iOS 7.0 Lock & Pass Code Screen

Home Screen
After successfully landing on the home screen you will notice that the overall feel is completely different. Each icon is now flat almost appearing to be deep inside the display itself. The entire graphic interface is designed to enhance the user experience giving a 3D (or living) feel. It truly is something that I feel many users will connect with. The wallpaper and icons “move with your movement”, tilt the device and they follow. It seems Ive’s (Apple’s lead designer) redesign had a strong focus on creating a more interactive and natural user experience. Some of the icons I am not necessarily fond of but they all work very well together.

iOS 7 Home Screen w/ New Icons & Appearance.
iOS 7 Home Screen w/ New Icons & Appearance.

Control Center
Long awaited features have been added to the Control Center. You now have access to quickly turn on and off features that were once only available via jailbreaking your device. We have been awaiting Apple to integrate this feature into it’s iOS for some time now as the entire team at Mobile Genius at one time took advantage of this feature. Quickly access Airplane Mode, WiFi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb, Screen Orientation Lock and more. This should have been released years ago in our opinion.

New Control Center w/ Quick Feature Access
New Control Center w/ Quick Feature Access

Camera Filters
One not so innovative feature in the new software is the internal camera filters, similar to instagram you can now change the filter of your photos taken with iPhone, iPad, or iPod. Gimmicky? Are there already enough apps that do this? Or do you really need it integrated in the operating system?

Multitasking
All apps will now have access to multitasking controls. Multitasking will now support intelligent scheduling of resources to apps that require them and also prioritize based on network conditions. This means, if you don’t have great reception or not in a WiFi area, the OS won’t try to prioritize applications that require that to function. As well, if you receive a push notification, the OS will prioritize that application and make sure it’s up to date should you use it right after the notification. Also a feature only available to jailbroken devices, the multitasking function now toggles full view of the app in it’s open state instead of simply displaying the app’s icon.

iOS 7 New Full View Multi-Tasking
iOS 7 New Full View Multitasking

Safari Overhaul
Safari has also been revamped: it has an all-new look to match the other native apps; much of the clutter has been removed to allow your eye to focus on page content. The most talked about feature is the removal of “open pages” in exchange for tabs allowing more than the standard 8 pages to be open. Scrolling through these open tabs is quite enjoyable to say the least.

Siri Update
Siri has a new interface with claimed better search results. It has been updated to have both male and female voices in English, French, and even German. Siri can now control more of your device using voice commands, including turning on and off functions as well as changing settings. This will be a lifesaver! Many times I have wanted Siri to mute my iPhone, close navigation, or even open up my camera…can’t wait to test what she can now do!

Air Drop Sharing
Easy file sharing is here! With iOS 7 users can now share files, photos, or videos with any friend or family member using AirDrop. This feature will also be compatible with Macs allowing an easy transition into the wireless storage era. I have a feeling that the jailbreak developers will have a field day with this feature!

airdrop
AirDrop Feature, Share In Any App

Appstore
The Appstore includes new features. Most of the improvements can be found within Apple’s Appstore search function. You can now search for apps popular to those in your area or even search for apps for children of a certain age. For instance you can search for games that are appropriate for a child ages 3-5 to find the next game for your young one. However, the biggest change is found with the automatic app update feature. All of your apps will update on the fly as you carry out your day. No more manual updates or fumbling though huge lists of available updates. It will be interesting how app developers react, they will need to quickly address any issues in their updates since all users will be seeded them.

iTunes Radio
iTunes Radio has been floating around the rumor mill for years and now it has been officially announced. iTunes radio will give users the experience of popular internet radio right within Apple’s music app (IE: Pandora, Spotify). This service will be free for all users with ads, and ad-free for iTunes Match subscribers. The service is set to roll-out to US only on the first release. We currently do not have pricing for the “iTunes Match” subscription.

Final Thoughts
With all these great new things its’ seems users are anxiously awaiting the public release of iOS 7.0 while it is being seeded to developers currently. I am very satisfied with the visual changes as some rumors were beginning to have me worried. I think Apple is on the right track with a lot of the features, it’s almost as if Apple is beginning to take the jailbreak community seriously implementing many features previously created by open source developers. The look and feel of the new iOS is great, it truly creates a better experience. The features we (well at least us geeks) have been relying on a jailbroken device are now part of Apple’s design. I can honestly say I no longer need to jailbreak my iPhone to have all of the features I want and that’s quite a feat.

Feel free to talk it up! Leave Comments below!

-Josh Mac

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